The political pedigree of Dennis Hastert Judge Thomas Durkin

SHARE The political pedigree of Dennis Hastert Judge Thomas Durkin

WASHINGTON – U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin, the judge in the former House Speaker Dennis Hastert case on Tuesday – and a two-time donor to Hastert’s congressional campaign fund – offered to recuse himself unless both parties agree to waive that recusal.

The Sun-Times reported Durkin said he believes a “reasonable person might believe” a bias may exist. He gave both parties until 4 p.m. Thursday to decide whether he should indeed be disqualified.

Here is Durkin’s political pedigree:

* Federal Election Commission contribution records show that Durkin donated as a lawyer in private practice to Hastert’s congressional campaign when Hastert was House speaker. While working for Mayer Brown in Chicago’s Loop Durkin gave $1,000 to Hastert’s campaign on June 29, 2004, and $500 on June 26, 2002. Hastert’s son Ethan is a Mayer Brown partner.

*Durkin was confirmed by the Senate in December 2012 — making it to the federal bench after trying for years to get the spot.

Durkin submitted an application to Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill. on May 8, 2009, according to a questionnaire reviewed by the Sun-Times that Durkin completed for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Following an interview by Durbin and his selection committee, Durkin’s name joined others on a list for consideration by President Barack Obama. Durkin was not picked.

Durkin made another bid for a federal judgeship on March 18, 2011, sending his application to Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. This time, Obama nominated Durkin.

*One of Durkin’s seven brothers is Jim Durkin, who became the Illinois House Republican leader on Oct. 22, 2013.Jim Durkin was Sen John McCain’s R-Ariz. Illinois state chairman when McCain ran for president in 2000 and 2008. Between 2006 and 2008 Durkin donated $4,300 to political funds associated with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

*McCain supported Jim Durkin when he ran for Senate in 2002 against Durbin. Thomas Durkin adonated $2,000 to his brother’s failed Senate bid.

*Durkin provided pro bono assistance to the Illinois House Impeachment Committee scrutinizing then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich after he was indicted on federal corruption charges, according to Durkin’s questionnaire.Jim Durkin in 2008-2009 was the ranking Republican on that panel.


The Latest
A man and a woman were found fatally shot inside a Ravenswood home.
Now she’s pregnant again and having another shower, and guest debates whether to buy another present.
Nearly half of the more than 60 prospective jurors screened on Monday were dismissed, some because of the hardship they’d endure if called to serve and others who said they could not be fair.
Thinking ahead to your next few meals? Here are some main dishes and sides to try.